KPMG offers policy and technical framework for reopening offices

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Big Four firm KPMG has created a dynamic, risk-based policy and technical framework to help organizations bring employees back to the workplace, following the end of shelter-in-place mandates nationwide. The platform provides a technology-enabled and data-driven assessment of COVID-19-related impacts within a community, along with an evaluation of the challenges that individuals and their employers may have to navigate as they re-enter the workplace.

The framework, which comes in the form of a tech platform that can be custom-built for each client, follows a five-step structure, assessing risk in local markets, addressing government and regulatory considerations, and providing a technology component to help executives make informed decisions.

The firm developed the framework carefully by pulling in leads from different teams at KPMG: the government team, which informed public policy question; the health care team, which serves both hospitals and payers; the HR consulting practice, which provided information on how to reestablish relationships with employees and make the new normal real; and the technology team, which helped create a tech-enabled platform with customizable dashboards. KPMG also consulted an advisory board of experts both within the U.S. and globally.

“No two organizations or their risk profiles are alike, and creating a framework to address COVID-19-related impacts requires a high degree of sophisticated analytics and a firm understanding of health policy implications and business processes to help entities resume operations,” said Paul Hencoski, health care and government solutions practice leader, in a statement.

The framework will be available to clients via a consulting engagement with KPMG.

“Because time is of the essence, clients will do five to six weeks of implementation and training, getting to their specific Version 1.0 of the platform,” said Atif Zaim, KPMG customer and operations services line leader. “It’s never really done — it’s about which iteration you’re on.”

KPMG’s framework encompasses the following 5-step approach:

1. Risk-based framework: KPMG has created a model that serves as a starting point for organizations to develop their own risk-based framework powered by analytic tools that calculate both community threat levels and individual risks — specifically, the risks of contracting and transmitting coronavirus.
2. Workforce and workplace considerations: In the short term, it is essential to critically assess and fully understand which roles can be performed remotely and which require a physical presence. For those returning to work, organizations need to develop and implement social distancing policies, based on CDC and other federal, state and local public health and safety guidelines. Organizations will also need to consider employment and privacy laws, as well as their own policies, in determining information they request from employees on a voluntary or mandatory basis, as well as whether to allow self-certification versus third-party verification.
3. Partnering process: Once organizations, in consultation with their medical and legal advisors, have settled on a workplace safety approach and a risk framework, they will need to establish a simple and effective process to deliver the services and supplies needed to protect employees, such as diagnostic testing, temperature checks and workplace sanitation.
4. Technology enablement/Employee logistics: Organizations will also need to enhance their technology capabilities to safely bring employees back on-site. Conducting contact tracing of employees, monitoring employees for infection, establishing workplace-related processes, such as establishing entry, movement and exit controls, and enforcing social distancing, are of central importance.
5. Program governance: Organizations will also require agile governance that operates with clarity on decision-making protocols, and frequent communication to navigate the return of their workforce in a dynamic, fluid environment, with considerations that include: decision-making with C-level engagement, streamlining communication across channels, and monitoring coordination among compliance areas and key functions that engage with the workforce.

For more information on KPMG’s framework, click here.

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